Fighting for Truth (Jude 1-4)July 31, 2022 | Brandon Cooper
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As your kids well, parents and teenagers do not have candy for you. So you’re just gonna have to deal with growing up is tough. But go ahead, grab your Bibles open up to Jude, I’d say chapter one, but that’s it, there’s just one. If you don’t know what Jude is start at the back and work this way. Otherwise, it can take you a lot, or I guess this way.
There’s gonna take you a lot longer. It’s right before revelation, Jude Jude, as Kyle just mentioned, it is important that you get the genuine article, not counterfeit. And really, the more important the need, the more important that we get it, right. So if you’re in a store, and you’re trying to pay with Monopoly money, all that happens is you don’t get candy or trying to buy. But let’s say you go to a fake doctor with a fake diploma on his wall, and he prescribed you fake pills. Well, that’s a whole lot worse, isn’t it? Because now you’re probably going to get very sick or remain very sick. But it gets even more serious than that. Because when it comes to the Gospel, of course, we are talking about eternity. In an age of disinformation, like the one we inhabit, and an age of my truth and your truth and everybody else’s truth, it is more important than ever, that we know the true truth, that we know the gospel, as God has revealed it to us. In fact, even if you are here this morning, and you are skeptical about Christianity, it is still important that you know the true truth, even if you’re not so sure about it, because you want to weigh real Christianity, and not some false, distorted version of it that you’ve heard before. And so our main idea this morning, which dude will give us give this to us quite clearly is to fight to keep hold of the true truth. Make sure you got the genuine article, not the counterfeit, because there are some things that are worth fighting for. And news as good as this is chief among them. So that’s what we’re gonna look at this morning, our structures can be pretty simple. This is, of course, the introduction to the letter. And so we’re gonna look at the stuff that you’d expect to find in the introduction of a letter, you got to imagine that you are the letters recipient. And so as you are unsealing the envelope, or more likely unrolling the scroll, in this case, you’re going to look at, first of all, who is writing, and who is involved in all of this, then what it’s about. So there’s a reason for this. And then lastly, why specific Why did the letter writer insist on addressing this topic? Interestingly, that’s actually the structure for the letter as a whole to very common at this point. So Jude is going to tell us what he’s writing about and why he thinks he needs to write about it. And then he’s going to spend our next three weeks versus five to 19, unpacking the why, before in verses 20, to 23, coming back to the what specifically that he’s writing about. So if you’re the kind of person who writes in your Bible, you can kind of block out that chunk of text, you’ll understand where we’re headed in the rest of this series. But let’s dive in for now with the who question and that just comes from verses one and two. Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James, to those who have been called, who are loved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ, mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance? Well, okay, I cheated this who question is really two questions, because for us, at least we got to know who is writing and who is reading. So let’s take the first one. So who is writing the author is Jude EU does so Jude, Judas, Judah, all the same word gets translated in different ways. There aren’t a lot of options. But there are a few options. You know, a couple of Judas is, for example. So we’re gonna have to look at these two descriptions to figure out who this is, first of all, he calls himself a servant of Jesus Christ. Not terribly helpful in distinguishing who he is. He’s just told us he’s a Christian. That’s it. So what does this mean? It is an interesting phrase, though, still, first of all, servant is not quite a strong enough word. It is a bondservant a slave, really. So he’s saying that he is a willing slave of Jesus Christ, happy to follow him to obey him to trust him. Second, though, it’s interesting that he says he’s a servant of Jesus Christ, because the language is taken, especially from Isaiah, who uses the phrase servant of the Lord, all over the place. And why I say that’s interesting is because the Lord is yavi God Almighty. And so what’s interesting here is how casually Jude replaces the name yavi With Jesus, it’s such a casual ascription of deity, even at this early period, when Jude is ready, would I want to build my case for the deity of Christ on that right there? No, I would not. But I can build it on the rest of the New Testament. But it is interesting once you know what the New Testament writers thought of Jesus that they thought that he was God that He is ya they and they just throw it out there. Oh yeah, servant of Yabba Lee surveyed and Jesus doesn’t matter, same thing. So that was not any help in identifying the author, interesting as it was. The second one is more helpful here, though servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James, there is only one that James who was well enough known that you could just say, James, no further qualifications necessary. It’s not James, the brother of John, those two sons of thunder, because he’s dead by now. He’s the earliest murderer among the apostles, the disciples of Jesus. So the only James that’s left is the brother of Jesus, who is the leader of the church in Jerusalem at this point, also wrote a book of the Bible. So James, the brother of Jesus, half brother of Jesus, that is James and Jude here, these are sons of Joseph, and Mary. Now, once you know that you go, so he doesn’t just say, brother of Jesus, why the brother of the guy who’s the brother of Jesus, for one simple reason, and that’s that there’s no authority in the bloodline. Jesus did not come to establish a blood dynasty or something like that the authority rests in apostleship. That is being an eyewitness of the resurrection. And a follower of Jesus James possesses that apostolic authority. Jude, it seems does as well. So that’s who’s writing here, the half brother of Jesus, Jude, the audience, then we don’t know where they are, or really who they are. We’re not given a ton here, in terms of identifying the place or the time, I do think Jude is one of the earlier letters and there are are some reasons for that. But honestly, we could be talking about a letter written in the 50s 60s, or 70s. All three make good sense to us. So we don’t get specific information about who and where, but we do get some really important theological terms that we’re not going to want to gloss over. So what does he say about them? He says that their call says that they’re loved. And he says that they’re kept now called is the main description here. It encompasses the others. In fact, it’s a written, like, it’s a bookend for these other phrases, if you wanted to get the actual syntax, it’s really awkward in English, which is why your Bible translation doesn’t keep it that way. It says to those who are being loved and God, the Father and capital, Jesus Christ have been called. So you see us on either side of that, so called is the key piece here. Why is it so key it is a reminder that God moves first. It is God’s will God’s initiative. That’s the only reason that we are here. God moves towards us first, God calls us over. And when you consider the two parties involved in that calling, who God is and who we are, we should be awestruck reading that one word. It’s a little bit like, imagine you’re out at your local field for a bit of kickabout. And all of a sudden, this whole like posse comes out. And it is an internationally known soccer star. I don’t do baseball analogies. That’s nonsense. Okay. We’re a global church. We’re going on with a global sport.
internationally known soccer star, he’s there, there’s cameras, there’s security, it’s the whole thing. This is your favorite player, you’re actually wearing his kit right, then. Now, you walk over to him through all that security and stuff. No, it’s clear not. But if he were to see you there, were in that you’re gonna go Hey, come on, you know, big, big to do signed your ball or whatever. Awesome, right? That would be stunning enough, wouldn’t it? If that’s what it meant to be called. But it’s a little worse than that, isn’t it? Because that internationally known soccer star across the field right there as much as you love him and respect him as a player he plays for your rival. And you’re actually wearing the wrong shirt. So here’s this fabulous soccer star plays for Arsenal naturally. And you are there in your Tottenham Hotspur jersey? For reasons that I can’t fathom personally, like this just calls into question your whole character. I love that none of you have any idea what I’m talking about. It’s like three Arsenal fans in the room being like, that’s right. Pretty shame. And everyone else is like, I’m gonna have to google Tottenham. Good luck spelling that by the way, that’s not how it’s spelled. So you’re in the wrong kit, and he still sees you and waves you over. And even though you’re wearing the wrong shirt, he signs your ball. That’s we’re getting closer, right? But that’s not even close to it even we’re not we’re not friendly rivals with God when He calls us into the faith. Let’s imagine because that soccer star is on the team you don’t like and you are a rabid fan again a Tottenham fan, meaning you got character issues, okay? And so what have you been doing when you see this guy, you actually started throwing stones at him, like rocks, real rocks, one of them hits him in the head. He’s bruised, he’s bloodied, at this point. And then he weighs you over. As you come into the circle, and sizable. And even there, we’re not quite where we should be right. But now we’re getting closer to what it would mean for God to call us we only come because we are called. And God not only forgives us and pardons us, but loves us, delights in US wants to be with us, even though we’ve been thrown stones at him. Charles Spurgeon says it like this. He said, I believe the doctrine of election that God calls us. Because I’m quite sure that if God had not chosen me, I should never have chosen him, I would still be throwing stones at him, in fact, and I’m sure he chose me before I was born, or else he never would have chosen me afterwards, throwing stones again. And he must have elected me for reasons unknown to me, for I never could find any reason in myself, when he should have looked upon me with special love. But think of free that is then the doctrine of our calling. Our relationship with God depends on him. And not on our wildly fluctuating performance. There’s such assurance and that truth. And that’s the assurance that Jude then gives us with these other words, so we’re called we’re also loved. He calls us to be His children. I mean, think back to what Jude said, Jude said, Me, I’m just a slave of Jesus Christ. That’s not what God calls us, though. That’s what we call ourselves. God calls us friend, and child. And beloved.
Did you notice though that we are loved in God, the Father not loved by God, the Father, certainly we are loved by God the Father as well. But here Judas emphasizing not the source of that love, but the context in which we experience it our union with the Triune God, it’s a little bit like saying, I am loved in my marriage. Does that mean by my wife? Absolutely, yes. But there’s the relationship is the focus there. And then he says, We are kept, interestingly, again, not kept by Jesus Christ, but kept for Jesus Christ, as if Jesus were the destination, the aim of the end goal, maybe somewhat similar to how we would use language of I’m keeping myself for marriage. That’s the the end of it Christ is our reward. Now kept is a very important word in the book of Jude, again, if you’re in the habit of writing in your Bible, probably a good one to highlight or circle. We’re going to hit it two more times next week, and we’ll go from there. This book is all about our persevering in Christ, but we persevere in Christ. Why? Because he has us. He keeps us we’re safeguarded, protected, assured. And that last word assured is so important. Because really, that’s the sum total of called and loved and kept is our shirts. Because God has us those words, they all go together. It’s a little bit like heard a pastor say it like this. I like this illustration. Every now and again, your mechanic has to take your car engine apart, but you really don’t want your engine to be in parts. You want it to go all together, right? That’s when it hums. That’s when it drives. The engine well called kept love those all go together. And that is the engine that drives us in our perseverance in Christ. And when in light of this, then of course, we have exactly what Jude says here. Mercy, peace and love in abundance. How could we not? God chooses, loves holds us even though we deserve the opposite. That’s mercy. And then by grace, that experience of grace, we enjoy His peace and love. And I get a little worried here because peace and love are religious words. And so sometimes we just kind of, you know, right, right. You’re just doing like Christianese cliche kind of stuff. No, these words are key to Jude’s argument here because this is what we seek. This is what we’re after that fullness of joy, that words like peace and love. Explain again, Jude is a Hebrew for him. The word peace is shalom. That’s the fullness of life that for which we were created. So the big question is, Where will we find it? And that’s where he turns next. And now we got to get to the what? This is the appeal. This is the the occasion of the letter. This is this is the point Jude is trying to make. Let’s read verse three. Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. Alright, there’s Jude’s thesis, his main idea as it were, this is what be printed at the top of the bulletin. If Jude were preaching this morning says what he wants his audience to hear and the response that he wants. Notice, though, it’s not what you’d actually wanted to say. He wanted to write about something else. Like most preachers, he would love to sing the glories of Christ and His gospel. But the reality on the ground means that we sometimes have to hit some less pleasant stuff, division, immorality, apathy, false teaching. So he feels compelled. In the same way that preacher today might get up and go, I really wanted to preach through Romans, and just like do the gospel. But we got to do a series on social media. And we got to do a series on politics now. Okay, because you people need. He feels compelled. Its urgency, its necessity, even what he’s writing, this is critical information without which the war for the souls of this church will be lost. Like this is when the general sends the messenger to one of his field commanders going, don’t advance. It’s a trap. And if that dispatch doesn’t get there, the battle is lost. So what is this urgent dispatch? What is it that he needs to tell them so desperately contend for the faith once for all entrusted to God’s holy people? fight to keep hold of the true truth.
Now, this is not actually a military metaphor, the word fight here, it is really an athletic metaphor, Jude is not calling us to an unholy war. The word here, maybe you’ve experienced this is when you’re watching your team in the playoffs. And this is a single elimination game. And so this is they lose, and they’re out, and they’re down by one with 15 minutes to go. Still thinking soccer, translate that in whatever sport you watch, okay, down by one with 15 minutes to go, and they just look apathetic. They just look sluggish, like do not understand what’s about to happen here is that you go home at this point, and you can’t muster a sprint, like, leave it on the field. And so you’re yelling at the TV, that’s what Jude is doing care. He sees that we are in danger of the same apathy. We’re losing our grip on the truth. And so he needs us to spring into action to contend to engage to fight. By the way, did you notice that this means there’s this tremendous balance tension, even to the Christian life? Because Jude has just finished telling us that we are capped. But that could loll us into a spiritual slumber. Couldn’t it? Got me I’m good. I don’t need to worry about this. No, we are both kept, and in need of contending. That is there’s an action required of us. So we have rest, peace, rest in the Gospel. It has finished. I think we just saying that. Right? So it’s finished, but it is an active rest. In fact, what do we do with that it is finished. If the Gospel, Paul tells us in Ephesians, six, we’re supposed to put that on like armor, it is finished wear that like the helmet of salvation, put that as the breastplate of righteousness, take it up like a shield and a sword and go into battle knowing that it’s done, and you can rest in it. There’s the tension that we’re talking about, in fact, is interesting. Jude is going to wrap up this letter, we’ll get there in a month or so by urging us to keep ourselves in the faith. We’re kept. And so we keep there’s the tension right there, the tension between grace and effort. God saves us by grace alone. It is his work and it is finished. And I would do something with it. So we’re supposed to content we’re supposed to fight for what God tells us for the faith once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. So we gotta fight to keep hold of the true truth. Now once for all means that the book is close, quite literally for us. Even the book is actually closed there will not be another revelation. How could there be Christ has come and He is the fullness of revelation in the past God spoke to our ancestors to the prophets many times in various ways. But in these last days, he has spoken to us by his Son, decisively, Hebrews one. So the book is closed because the book culminates, all this revelation culminates in Jesus’s life, death and resurrection. And once that story has been told, and its significance explained by the apostles, it’s done. And that is what is passed on to us handed down to us, first by the apostles who wrote it, and then by the church that has guarded it throughout the centuries. This is how Paul says it you can get the whole interesting idea here First Corinthians 15, verse three, what I received the story I was taught what I received, I passed on to you, as a first importance that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures. Interesting that word passed on is the word that’s translated entrusted here. So it’s the it’s the same word. I like this verse here in First Corinthians 15, though, because it helps us understand what we’re talking about that phrase first importance really helps us out here. Because it reminds us that we are dealing in primary issues. By primary issues, I mean, those things were to strip them away is to lose the Gospel itself. Let’s separate them from some other issues where Christians can disagree. God’s revelation is perfect. Our ability to understand and interpret it is not. So we got some questions on some things, the farther out we get, the more difficult it is to understand the gospel core that we can understand that we can understand perfectly, how exactly the world is going to shake out how the end happens.
Little more humility required there, okay. That’s what I mean by secondary, tertiary issues like that. So there is a body of truth that we cannot deny, without denying the Gospel itself to lose that is to lose Christianity. Christ’s deity and humanity, the authority of Scripture, the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ. These are issues where you lose it, and you are no longer dealing Christianity. There’s some other really important issues, but we might disagree about them. How exactly God’s sovereignty and human freedom, work together. Baptism, those are secondary issues, right? Because we might actually switch churches as a result of this, like, if you’re coming here, you want us to baptize your infant, it’s not going to happen. But that doesn’t mean you’re not a good Christian. It just means we have come to different conclusions about some tricky stuff, then you get that stuff like the age of the Earth, or the timing of the rapture, if a rapture occurs. You got people in the pews. Next you, you married, somebody disagree by that no big deal, right? That’s tertiary issues. So there’s a twin danger here, and Jude only hits half the danger, but they’re both there. The first danger is that we can make everything first importance. And you get really judgy and proud. And frankly, no one wants to go to your church. These are the ones where if you got a difference of opinion about the timing of the rapture, you can’t become a member of that church. That’s ludicrous. Okay, but there is that. So you get divisive and proud. The other danger and it certainly is, the more common one today is to make nothing of first importance. So there is no doctrine about which we actually have to disagree, contend, fight. And so you end up abandoning the faith. This is one reason we say the historic Creed’s because these are those core truths on which Christians must agree and do agree even some pretty diverse groups of Christians, Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Pentecostal Protestants, kind of all on the same page here. So these are the things of course the times change. All those Creed’s were written at moments of controversy. And there’s always a new controversy. So there are things we need to believe today that aren’t in those creeds. Of course, we need to be alert we need to be paying attention to what are those truths. If I were to lose this, I would be losing Christianity. Well, this faith that gospel core has been entrusted to the church, to God’s holy people. If you’re using a different translation, it might say to the saints, the one reason why the NIV doesn’t say saints is because because the influence of Roman Catholicism saints is a weird word to a lot of us. So for a lot of us, we think st is the super Christian. And that’s not what it means in the New Testament. If you are in Christ, by grace through faith, you are a saint, because St doesn’t mean super Christian saint means set apart and you have been set apart for the glory of God. So to all of us who have been set apart God’s holy people, the church been entrusted with the gospel. So First Thessalonians, two, four, Paul uses that word entrusted again, he says this, we speak as those approved by God, to be entrusted with the gospel. That should be our aim. I think that’s what Jude is getting at here. Really? There’s an implicit command in all of this. If we’ve been entrusted with the gospel, Are we worthy stewards of it or not? That’s the question. So last week, about 50 of us were at the Chicago dogs game. And my children who were with me wanted ice cream, and I wanted to remain seated. But they’re kind of old. So I handed the oldest available Cooper, my wallet. And there’s an implicit understanding there isn’t there. Like I’m saying, I think you’re worthy of this trust worthy, I’ve been trusting my wallet to you, I would like the wallet back, preferably with all the credit cards in it. And most of the cash returned to me. Which happened, by the way, this is not a bad story. That’s what God is doing with us. He’s saying, I think you’re trustworthy of the gospel, Can God trust us? Can God trust you with the gospel, he has already you’ve got the wallet in your hand. So let’s endeavor to be worthy of that trust. And by the way, that means you. This is not my job. Who is most in danger of being a false teacher? A teacher, you see that? So the person who gets up here a lot and talks longer than you’d like him to.
That’s why Jude is so clear. It is the responsibility of God’s people to contend for the faith. Kyle’s already told us the best way to spot the counterfeit, is to know the genuine article to know this book. So well, if I were to ever to utter something off, you would all get that ding, ding ding, that he did for us earlier. That means that the pastor elders cannot be the only ones reading theology, doing Bible study, getting into the original languages, even to obey this command to fight for the true truth. You must know the true truth. That’s the call on all of us. But lastly, then why so this was like intense, right? This is this is a real urgency here and Jude’s writing what is causing that what’s lighting the fire underneath him, so that he lights the fire underneath us? Verse four, for certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you, there ungodly people who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality, and deny Jesus Christ are only sovereign and Lord. So why all this fuss about fighting to keep hold of the true truth because it is under threat, as it always will be an absolutely every epoch. And that’s exactly what Jude’s readers are facing here. Look at what Jude says about these false teachers, though certain individuals secretly slipped in among the godless and immoral says strong language. There are notes of contempt in it. You don’t say certain individuals when you’re feeling really happy about them a certain someone didn’t unload the dishwasher last night. Note of contempt, right. There is a suggestion of duplicity they’ve secretly slipped in among you. You don’t sneak into places you shouldn’t be for good reasons. Nobody breaks into a bank in the middle of night to go well, there’s a bank error in my favor, monopoly style, and I just wanted to make sure that they got that money back. Apologies for the book damage alarm. So duplicity. And then there is of course, the the urgency that this strong language communicates godless and immoral wakes us up to the need to fight language like this. It catches you off guard a little bit. Like I remember, many of you are probably familiar with John Piper’s preaching, I certainly hope you are. He’s very measured, in his words, reads from a transcript does not speak off the cuff. And when he does, he does not make mistakes in what he’s saying. Very careful. Well, one time he was being interviewed on a panel, and somebody asked him what he thought about the prosperity gospel, and he said, I’ll tell you what I think about the prosperity gospel. I think it’s crap. And the room when Dude, that’s John Piper was not inappropriate. That’s not a word. condemned in Scripture. In fact, I’ve argued before I think Philippians uses the word at one point. And it was appropriate because it’s an appropriate description of prosperity gospel as well. But it caught everyone off guard, because it was so strong and so emotional. And that’s what Jude is doing for us here. So who are these teachers? Exactly? Why so serious dude? Well, there are no exact details, like I said, but we got plenty to go on. We have four descriptions here. We’re gonna unpack them the next few weeks. Like I said, the first description is that their condemnation was written about long ago. Does this mean a specific prophecy about them? No, absolutely not. What has been talked about here is that the same sorts of things happened in the Old Testament. And we know how they shook out, it ended in condemnation. So why would anything change? No, just pointing forward? What will happen in the future as well? You want to know what that means? We’re going to hit it next week. You’re just gonna have to come back. Okay. Deal with it. Second description. They’re ungodly.
Also a key word and dude, we’re gonna come across that a lot. Again, get out a different color highlighter, something and highlight ungodly, we’ll keep talking about this ungodly here for us, that usually is just a synonym for immoral. It’s more than that. It means God lists, as in Mrs. Don Carson, memorable phrase, they have de guarded God. You don’t get to be God anymore. Because somebody else is going to be God. Probably me, right? So this is a lot like what Paul says in Romans one, although they knew God, he’s speaking of all of us, we all know God, we all know that God exists, we just bury it under layers of rationalizations, we suppress that truth, although they knew God, they neither glorified him, nor give thanks to Him, as God. So that’s what we mean by godless, ungodly. And of course, what does that look like practically third description, they pervert the grace of God into a license. Because if we’re not saved by works, but by the grace of God, well, then it doesn’t matter what I do. So now I have a license for immorality, what a morality you can probably gasps but we will hit it next week, as well. And then fourth, they denied Jesus Christ, they’re only sovereign, and Lord. So these are words that are dealing with Christ, kingly rule, that’s what we’re talking about here. So how are they denying Jesus are sovereign and Lord, they’re probably not getting up and saying, Guys, I don’t think Jesus is our sovereign and Lord, no, they’re doing it implicitly by refusing to submit to His Lordship obey His law. This is a common enough occurrence. Of course, this is just a bad application of Paul’s theology. It happens. In fact, Jude’s brother, James also wrote a letter going, I think you misunderstood, Paul, we need to talk for a moment. It’s always a danger. Here’s what the danger looks like today. I’ll couch it in 21st century American terms. Jesus loves me and wants me to be happy. That denies Jesus Christ, only sovereign, and Lord, why? Because that means I can do whatever I want to bring myself happiness, which makes me God. But that’s not what Scripture says. Scripture says that God chose us. There’s the calling in love to be holy, and blameless in his sight. So we’ve been set free from sin, not to sin. But to be willing slaves of Christ, like Jude has just said, to offer ourselves to God as those have been brought from death to life to offer every part of ourselves God as instruments of righteousness. Here’s what Paul says in Galatians five. Like I said, this is a bad application of Paul’s theology. This is not Paul’s theology. Here’s Paul’s theology. You my brothers and sisters, were called to be free, but do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh. Keep the law of your Lord serve one another humbly in love. This is so important for us to understand because the world offers us a false freedom. It is a freedom, a world without boundaries, but that is a false freedom, like a fish out of water is not freer than the fish who’s stuck in the fish tank. It is a whole lot less free, very quickly, right after it stops flapping. In the same way, people who eat whatever they want, are not more free. They’re very quickly less free to do many of the things that they want to do because they are no longer healthy. This is God’s way this is reality. We cannot experience the peace, shalom, fullness of joy that God wants us to have in abundance, apart from living within his boundaries. All that’s been said here then is that someone has to be king in your life. So will that be Jesus? And if not Jesus, then who? For most of the day, the answer is, and I think it’s Robert Bella’s phrase, the sovereign self. So I’m my own sovereign, there are two problems with the sovereign self. First,
let’s not kid ourselves. It’s not really the self. The point I often make, because we often forget it. We are conditioned by our culture, we are not making choices as individuals, we’re making choices based on the culture around us. The illustration I always give is, look at how you’re dressed. You are all wearing exactly the same clothes as everyone else in the room. Like no one’s in a toga right now. You’re all like, no, I got an individual style. No, you don’t. Okay, first, because you just bought it at a store, which means you’re still buying whatever they told you to buy. And then you notice the styles change, and everybody starts wearing the new clothes, because we’re all such rebel individuals, right? Come on. Okay. So we are willing servants of culture. And the problem with that is that like false teachers, our culture is duplicitous, and self serving, our culture is trying to take advantage of you, young people, especially hear me here, the world does not love you. The world wants to use you, exploit you and take advantage of you, I’m gonna burst some bubbles here. You know, those letters you get from colleges saying, we had Sanford want you to come here. Just pick that college out of my brain, no one here going to Sanford next year or anything like that. They don’t want you. They want what you have to offer primarily 10s of 1000s of dollars a year. Maybe it’s because you’re really good at baseball or football, they want you to play for them. And they think you’re particularly talented academically. And so they can point to you later on and be like, see, the alumni that we produce, they don’t want you that doesn’t change later on in life. Political Party just wants your vote calls just wants you to volunteer. This is all like a creepy guy hitting on you at a bar where you’re going. I’m pretty sure there’s an ulterior motive here. That’s the world. Contrast that with Jesus, the good King, who calls you and loves you and keeps you he needs nothing from you. Because you have nothing to offer him. You’re throwing stones at him still. He loves you because He loves you. And that’s the end of it. That’s the whole reason right there. He’s got the riches, infinite riches of his grace available for you, requires nothing from you. But to come. Second problem in the whole sovereign self idea is that you can never be at peace, if you’re gonna choose yourself as king or we know rest for the weary because if, if you’re your own God, then who is keeping you you are. And that’s a little tricky. It’s a little bit like drifting in an ocean all the time. And the waves keep sweeping over you. Sometimes you float on your back and things are okay. And other times you’re like this is not going to last much longer. What a difference it would make if you could just put your feet on solid ground. That’s Jesus, who keeps us right there. So we need mercy, peace and love. What happens when the person you love leaves, or doesn’t require your love in the first place. The wave goes over your head, you swallow a little bit of saltwater, which makes me sick to your stomach and thirstier than you were a moment ago. Plus, she breathed some of it into your choking and gasping with your muscles or spasming, which is not good, because you’re already tired because you’ve been flapping in the ocean for the last day or so. And then you’re looking for rest, peace, that secure identity, maybe you’re looking for it and your health or your wealth or your status, then you get sick or inflation happens or you lose your title. The wave goes over your head and you’re gasping for breath. And then hardest of all. When you mess up, as you know you do more often than you would like you hurt other people even though you got a sign in your front yard saying kindness is everything who raises that guilt and shame. He realized you need mercy. And you cannot offer it to yourself. Do you see it a choice between on the one hand a world that exploits you and itself that fails you and on the other hand, Jesus who keeps you and calls you and loves you. That’s why we keep fight to keep hold of the true truth. Because it’s good for us. It’s like having real money in the right medication. We find our joy in him. So dear friends, I urge you to contend for the faith was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people fight to keep hold of the true truth because some things are worth fighting for a news like this, that you are called and loved and kept top of the list. Let’s pray Father, we come to you
in all, and worship, knowing that you call us and love us, and keep us despite who we are. So, Lord, even now we rest in this good news, knowing that if we will just come to you when you call us by grace, through faith through no merit of our own, that you will keep us in your love, and for Jesus, into eternity. That is solid ground once we can plant our feet, that’s such good news, Lord, would you help us to live in light of that? Would you help us to know that truth and to care so deeply about it, that we go deeper in our knowledge of it and are willing to learn as much of it as possible we can call out the counterfeit and proclaim the genuine article. To those in desperate need of it, Lord, I do pray for those who are here today, who are still on the outside, wrong shirt on throwing stones still, but seeing you even now calling them over, to come and to experience the mercy, peace and love that you offer in abundance, Lord, call them, give them grace to believe and to come to you. We pray. Amen.
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